'Slow Down Mate' - A VicHealth Alcohol Culture Change Initiative

'Slow down mate’ - improving alcohol cultures among trade students in Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula


VicHealth's Alcohol Culture Change Initiative aims to improve cultures of risky dinking within subpopulations in Victoria. Underpinning this Initiative is the Alcohol Cultures Framework which has been used as a foundation to guide funding submissions and the delivery and evaluation of alcohol culture change projects.

In October 2016, eight new partnership projects commenced that connect Victorian local councils with researchers and subpopulations of risky drinkers. These scoping projects (Stage One Projects) received funding of $25,000 - over four months - to gain a deeper understanding of alcohol cultures amongst subpopulations of risky drinkers as identified by councils and co- design an alcohol culture change project concept with their target subpopulation.

Our Approach

Concerns about risky alcohol consumption amongst particular populations demands an understanding of why some groups of men drink excessively while others do not. Effective directions for health promotion efforts need to be guided by a better understanding of the social factors driving unsafe drinking practices in male trade apprentices in Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula.

VicHealth have funded a brief 4 months project to allow us to gather knowledge so we can develop more targeted health promotion interventions to reduce alcohol harms amongst male trade apprentices. Frankston Mornington Peninsula Primary Care Partnership have partnered with Mornington Peninsula Shire (lead agent), Frankston City Council, Peninsula Health, Chisholm Institute of TAFE and TurningPoint, Eastern Health to undertake a project specific to the Frankston Mornington Peninsula catchment to better understand the alcohol culture that exists amongst trade apprentices particularly in the building/construction and plumbing industries.

The project will see:

  • The roll out of an online survey for first, second and third year trade apprentices studying building/construction or plumbing at Chisholm Tafe
  • Two focus groups with the trade apprentices
  • A focus group with teacher who deliver education to these trade apprentices at Chisholm Tafe
  • A number of interviews with key people in the sector who are directly involved with trade apprentices including individuals from peak bodies such as Incolink, Master Builders, supervisors from industry and bartenders/pub operators who can add to our insight

This initial scoping exercise will be used not only to provide a greater understanding of the current alcohol culture that exists with this cohort however will also inform the development of specific interventions that aim to reduce alcohol related harm for trade apprentices in the local area. The scoping project report will be completed early March and will be made available through the Peninsula Model website.

Up to four councils that demonstrate the greatest potential during the scoping phase may be offered further funding of up to $260,000 at Stage Two to deliver their ideas – over 24 months – and make a big impact.

Further details on successful Stage Two delivery projects will be announced in April 2017.

Further Information

For any questions about 'Slow Down Mate', please contact Lisa Abbott at Frankston Mornington Peninsula Primary Care Partnership on 0410 407 034 or at labbott@phcn.vic.gov.au